Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has dissolved the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with immediate effect.
The dissolution of was contained in a letter to the board on Friday signed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Danladi Kifasi.
In the letter the President thanked members of the dissolved board of the NNPC for their services to the nation.
During his campaigns, President Buhari had reiterated his commitment to sanitising the NNPC and blocking fund leakages in the corporation.
The NNPC had come under scrutiny in late 2013 after the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria alleged that the corporation had not remitted $20 billion made from the sale of crude oil to the Federation Account between 2012 and 2013.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has described outbursts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the possible removal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega as “mere comedy”, stressing that the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, could sack him if he wishes.
The Governor in a statement on Wednesday, said the APC should stop acting as if Nigeria belongs to the party.
Fayose said: “By turning themselves to advocates and defenders of the INEC Chairman, the APC and its agents have shown that they have a deal with Jega to manipulate the elections and that deal will be frustrated if he is asked to leave office.”
He further stated that the removal of Jega and any other appointees of the Federal Government was a prerogative of the President, adding that no one can question the action, provided laid down rules are followed.
He said the position expressed by the House of Representatives was that of the APC members in the House, urging the APC lawmakers to rather “pay attention to the ill-health of their party’s presidential candidate, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd), whose whereabouts is now a mystery”.
Fayose described Jega as partisan, noting that “by his actions and utterances, Jega had already demonstrated his bias in support of the APC.
“For instance, how can Jega explain the 80 per cent distribution of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in Boko Haram ravaged Borno and Yobe States while less than 40 per cent were distributed in Lagos as at February 7, that the election was postponed?”
He stressed that it was on record that Professor Maurice Iwu was asked to proceed on a terminal leave two months to the end of his tenure, stating that Jega was a beneficiary of Iwu’s removal.
“If Iwu was asked to go on terminal leave before the expiration of his tenure for Jega to assume office, what difference does it make if the same was requested of the present INEC chairman?,” he questioned.
Governor Fayose further said it was the President that could determine whether or not Professor Jega would go on the mandatory 3 months terminal leave which ought to commence by March 8, stating that “if the President decides that the INEC chairman should go on terminal leave, what can the APC loudmouths do?
“Therefore, let me say it categorically that the noise being made by the APC and their agents will amount to nothing because if the President removes Jega today, heavens will not fall.”
APC member, Soni Monidafe on Wednesday weighed in on the controversy surrounding INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega’s impending (rumoured) removal, noting that removing him would be tantamount to removing a football referee before the match is over.
Supporting the warnings, a member of the Contact and Mobilisation Committee, Buhari Campaign Organisation, Soni Monidafe noted that INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega’s appointment was political and tenured and so he could not be sent on terminal leave.
He likened the current situation of the elections to a football match moderated by a referee, asking that “What is the essence of changing a referee in the middle of a game”?
“We are in a situation where this country is on tenterhooks. There’s tension all over the place”, he said, attributing the tension to the postponed elections, which he said was carried out by “false pretense”.
He warned that any attempt to remove Jega “would not be good for our democracy”.
Commenting on rumours that the Presidency was seeking to remove the INEC Chairman before the elections are held, Mr Monidafe recalled that such had happened before, mentioning former President of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami and former CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, insisting that the people expected government to respect the rule of law.
“The case of Ayo Salami has a similar bearing to what we are seeing right now. People did not expect Ayo Salami to be eventually removed. It was done,” he said.
He disregarded the Presidency’s denial of planning to remove Jega, arguing that they had also denied planning a shift in the elections.
He noted that there were rumours Jega was to embark on his terminal leave on the 24th of March, four days to the election, adding that “what is so important about getting Jega to go on terminal leave that they will want to put this country in trouble”.
Hearing of the suit filed by the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Lamido Sanusi, against the Federal Government, challenging his suspension from office as the governor of the apex bank has been stalled following an application for adjournment by his lawyers.
At the resumed hearing of the suit, lawyer to the plaintiff, Mr Kola Awodehin, told the National Industrial Court in Abuja on Friday that he needed to consult his client in view of his position as the new Emir of Kano.
Lawyer to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Mike Ozekhome, who did not oppose the application for adjournment, said that all counsels in the suit agreed to allow the plaintiff’s counsel consult with his client before the next sitting.
Having consented to the plaintiff’s application, presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, adjourned further hearing of the suit to 4 July.
Sanusi was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan on February 20 on allegations of financial recklessness.
The New Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has pledged his commitment to building a resilient financial system.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, Mr Emefiele also promised to ensure that the cashless policy of the bank spreads to other parts of the country before the end of July.
The new apex bank chief also stopped all charges on deposits made by customers.
In his first speech as the governor of the bank, he said that the bank would remain apolitical for the next five years and would also strive to maintain a healthy external reserve.
Top officials of the bank and heads of agencies and parastatals from the financial sector were at the maiden news conference by the governor of the apex bank.
Reeling out his agenda, Mr Emefiele said that the bank would remain focused, with a continuous commitment to ensuring macro-economic stability.
The cashless policy was introduced the cashless policy that was introduced by the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Lamido Sanusi, and Mr Emefiele stressed that by July the policy would be spread across the country while charges on cash withdrawals will be reviewed.
He did not state whether it will be a downward or upward review.
For the days ahead, the apex bank says Nigerians should expect a reduction in key interest rates, risk based supervision and investment in key sectors like petroleum and agriculture sectors to boost job creation and reduce poverty.
The CBN governor took over from Dr Sarah Alade, who had been in an acting capacity for three months, two days ago, promising to reel out his agenda on Thursday.
The new governor of the apex bank has announced ambitious plans for the economy. It is hoped that these plans would be matched with actions in the days ahead.
Nigeria’s new Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, resumed office on Tuesday and will address a press conference on Thursday.
Addressing reporters at the apex bank’s headquarter in Abuja where he was received by other deputy governors as he takes over the leadership of the bank, Mr Emefiele said he would reel out his plans for the bank during the press briefing.
Mr Emefiele took over from Dr Sarah Alade, had been in acting capacity for three months since the suspension of the former central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi on allegation of financial recklessness.
“I shall be addressing the world press conference on Thursday where I shall be unveiling my agenda for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and for the people of Nigeria”, he said.
The senate confirmed Mr Emefiele as the Central Bank Governor designate on March 26 after screening him for almost two hours.
Laying out his vision for the CBN during the screening, Mr Emefiele said he would ensure that Nigeria maintained a strong exchange rate, stressing that devaluation is not an option.
Emefiele’s confirmation marked the beginning of a new era in the CBN after the suspension of Mr Lamido Sanusi on February 20 by President Goodluck Jonathan for alleged financial recklessness.
He served as Executive Director in charge of Corporate Banking, Treasury, Financial Control and Strategic Planning of Zenith Bank and had been Management team since inception.
Mr Emefiele has over 18 years of banking experience and has lectured Finance and Insurance at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and University of Port Harcourt, respectively.
He is also an alumnus of Executive Education at Stanford University, Harvard University (2004) and Wharton Graduate Schools of Business (2005).
He holds a B.Sc Degree and an MBA Degree in Finance, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Expectations have continued to heighten as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, resumes work.
An economic analyst, Mr Henry Boyo, who was our guest our business programme Business Morning, expects Mr Emefiele to maintain price stability, which according to him is the core mandate of the Central Bank.
He said that the new apex bank boss should find a way to curb the excess liquidity in the system and ensure that Government stops borrowing back its money at a higher interest rate.
Mr Emefiele takes over from Dr Sarah Alade, who had acted as the CBN Governor for three months following the suspension of former governor of the bank, Mr Lamido Sanusi.
The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, on Wednesday, filed an appeal challenging the decision of Honourable Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja declining jurisdiction to hear his suit essentially seeking to re-instate him as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Federal High Court had in a judgment delivered on May 20, 2014 agreed with the submissions of Counsel to the President, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, as well as that of Counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) who had argued that the Sanusi’s suit which bothered on employment issues ought to have been brought before the National Industrial Court and not the Federal High Court.
In a Notice of Appeal filed on May 28, 2014, by Sanusi’s Counsel, Kola Awodein, the suspended Governor challenged the Judgment of the Federal High Court on 20 grounds. It was the contention of Sanusi that the Federal High Court ought not to have held that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Sanusi’s Counsel also contended that the transfer of the suit to the National Industrial Court by the Federal High Court was wrongful. Sanusi’s major prayer to the Court of Appeal was to set aside the judgment of the lower court as well as to allow his appeal.
However, Counsel to the President, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, as well as Counsel to the Attorney-General have also filed Notices of Appeal challenging the decision of the Federal High Court transferring the suit to the National Industrial Court.
It was there view that the Federal High ought to have struck out the matter when it held that it did not have jurisdiction. They have also filed Motion for Stay of Proceedings at the National Industrial Court.
Kola Awodein has also filed a Motion on Notice to stay proceedings at the National Industrial Court pending the determination of the Appeal filed at the Court of Appeal by parties.
As at Press time, it is not clear whether the planned hearing of Sanusi’s suit will go on as fixed for May 30, 2014 by the National Industrial Court in the light of the Motion for Stay of Proceedings filed by parties to the suit.
A Federal High Court in Lagos State will deliver judgment in a suit filed by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Lamido Sanusi, against the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) and its Executive Secretary on May 12.
The court fixed the date after listening to the arguments of lawyers in the case, both of whom also adopted their written submissions and other processes already placed before the court.
Mr Sanusi is challenging his invitation to appear before the investigating panel set up by the FRCN.
At Thursday’s proceedings, presided over by Justice John Tsoho, counsel to the suspended CBN governor, Mr Kola Awodein, insisted that the FRCN should be stopped from further investigating Mr Sanusi because the organisation had demonstrated bias when it earlier indicted him without giving him the opportunity to defend himself.
The lawyer also argued that the council could not be a judge in its own case, after it had investigated the allegations, reached its conclusion and made recommendations to the Federal Government.
Mr Awodein is therefore seeking a declaration that the FRCN’s conduct, action, decision and conclusion in respect of the suspended CBN Governor, particularly as it manifested in a brief note of 7 June, 2013 which was sent to the President, contravene the rule of natural justice.
He also wants the court to declare that the Council and it’s executive secretary do not have the powers to conduct the purported investigation as advertised in the newspapers and further seeks an order restraining the defendants and their agents in any form from conducting any investigation, inquiry, hearing or proceedings whatsoever as advertised in newspapers.
In objection, Mr Segun Ajibola, counsel to FRCN and its Executive Secretary, said that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit as the plaintiff had not exhausted the internal mechanism put in place for the resolution of grievances.
Mr Ajibola also said that the FRCN through its secretary issued a note, addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan, expressing its observation on the discrepancies it noticed in the audited financial statement and explanatory note of the CBN.
Part of the council’s recommendation was that there was a need for thorough investigation of the activities of the CBN.
The FRCN counsel concluded that the investigation panel was not bias and had not arrived at any other conclusion in respect of the investigation of the activities of the CBN for the financial year of 2011 and 2012.
Mr Ajibola, therefore asked the court to strike out the suit for being misconceived and premature.
A court in Lagos State, hearing a suit filed by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Lamido Sanusi, against the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), suspended proceedings on Friday when the temperature of the room became unbearable.
Due to poor supply of electricity from the Eko Electricity Distribution Company, the Federal High Court, Lagos was relying on generator-powered electricity supply which its unexpected refusal to come on, threw the court into darkness.
None of the seven giant generators came on, forcing the Judge to conduct proceedings in near-dark room with no air conditioning units.
Due to the increasing room temperature, counsels were permitted to remove their wigs if they wished while some lawyers turned their papers to hand fans.
Channels Television judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, reports that there are ten judges, who sit at the Federal High Court in Lagos, but owing to the power outage and the unbearable heat in the court, only three judges conducted skeletal sittings to accommodate lawyers and litigants who had come before them.
When the heat became unbearable, Justice James Tsoho had to adjourn the case between Lamido Sanusi and the FRCN till next Thursday.
This is coming a day after the Lagos State government ended the 2014 Economic Summit focusing on power sufficiency.
Mr Sanusi had filed a suit before Justice James Tsoho, urging the court to restrain the FRCN from investigating him.
Last week, the judge had issued an order restraining the Council from continuing its investigations against the suspended CBN governor until the suit had been heard.
The defendants had filed a preliminary objection to Mr Sanusi’s suit challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the case.
Justice Tsoho said he would hear the objection and the plaintiff’s motion together.
Mr Sanusi recently won a separate suit against the Federal Government and security agencies for the unlawful seizure of his international passport after he was suspended.
The court asked the Department of State Security Service and the Nigerian Police to pay Mr Sanusi 50 million Naira damage.
Sanusi was suspended on allegations of financial recklessness.
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, declared the seizure of suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Lamido Sanusi’s passport unlawful.
The court asked the Federal Government to return the document and tender a public apology to Mr Sanusi.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, also awarded the sum of N50m as damages in favour of the suspended CBN Governor.
The court further restrained the Federal Government through its agents or representatives from arresting and detaining Mr Sanusi without following due process of law, and restrained the government from interfering with Mr Sanusi’s freedom of movement.
In a judgment which lasted about two hours, the court first assumed jurisdiction on the matter because the Federal Government had claimed that it was an employer/employee relationship.
The FG had contended that the appropriate court for the suit was the National Industrial Court which had exclusive jurisdiction over labour related issues, but the court, after reviewing the case and the relevant sections of the law, punctured that claim and said that it was a fundamental rights issue, since Mr Lamido Sanusi was not complaining about any labour related issue even though the cause of action arose out of an employment dispute.
On the allegations of terrorism financing made by the Federal government, the court upheld Mr Sanusi’s argument that the allegation was an afterthought because even a careful look at documents put before the court showed that there was no evidence provided by the FG to substantiate the allegation. The court held that it was unlawful for security agents to arrest and detain a person before looking for evidence.
In the words of the court, “The mere suspicion of a commission of crime does not give security agents the authority to arrest and detain a citizen”.
The court also held that it is only the Minister of Internal Affairs that has the power to withdraw a citizen’s passport under section 5 of “Issuance of Passport and Miscellaneous Act”.
The law specifies that the Minister can so act when it is established that the passport was obtained by fraud or that it has expired. Following the withdrawing of such passport, the law says that the act must be gazetted.
Also, where a person holds more than one passport the Minister can, in the interest of public safety, publish such a person’s name.